Monica Macansantos’s debut short story collection Love & Other Rituals has already received glowing acclaim and marked her as an author to keep a close eye on. The stories in the collection revolve around Filipinos at home and in the wider diaspora. There are stories set in New Zealand, America, and the Philippines itself.
It’s the delicately relayed emotional journeys her characters undertake that really sets the stories apart. There is longing and beauty, hope and duty, all woven into the stories which are ultimately explorations about what it means to be human. Expect to be surprised and drawn into each tale.
Monica was a James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned an MFA in Writing, and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. Her work has appeared many publications such as in The Hopkins Review and the Pantograph Punch to name but a few, and she has been named Notable in the Best American Essays in both 2016 and 2022.
So, when we got the opportunity to interview the Monica about her work, we jumped at it!
We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Monica Macansantos for taking the time to answer our questions about Love & Other Rituals and her writing practice, and for providing such an illuminating insight into her world and work.
You can watch this fascinating and insightful interview below or by visiting our YouTube channel by clicking here.
Love and other rituals / Macansantos, Monica
“A man imprisoned by taboo learns the price of love. A child visits the grave of a cousin she’s never met; another absorbs the fallout of her parents’ divorce. Friendships rupture beyond repair, and family members collide when it comes to caring for their ageing father. These vivid stories of yearning, loneliness and resilience navigate the naivety of childhood, the complications of young adulthood and the politics of marriage. Monica Macansantos is a powerful new voice bringing us the raw and darkly beautiful perspectives of characters lost both in and out of their homeland, the Philippines.” (Adapted from Catalogue)